Related Insights

Amicus Brief, Ferrer v. Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations

Section 230 of the Communications Act enables individual speakers to identify online services that will host their own First Amendment-protected speech. The Subcommittee’s invasive, burdensome inquiry into Backpage.com’s editorial practices creates an intense chilling effect, not only for Backpage but for any website operator seeking to define their own editorial viewpoint and moderation procedures for the third-party content that they host.

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Comments to the NHTSA on Federal Automated Vehicles Policy (November 22)

CDT recognizes the tremendous societal benefits that may be derived from autonomous technologies, and we encourage NHTSA to further explore the privacy and cybersecurity impacts of AVs. Specifically, these comments focus on the Federal Automated Vehicles Policy’s Cross-Cutting Guidance with respect to: (1) data sharing; (2) privacy; (3) cybersecurity; and (4) consumer education and training.

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Coalition Calls on President Obama to Bolster Civil Liberties and Government Transparency

CDT signed onto a coalition letter with open government, privacy, and civil liberties advocates urging President Obama to take swift action before he leaves office to bolster civil liberties protections, primarily through added government transparency. For instance, the letter calls for the Justice Department to summarize for the public key Office of Legal Counsel opinions dealing with national security and civil liberties, and to publicly release foreign intelligence court decisions and inspector general reports.

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Coalition Strongly Supports Review The Rule Act

CDT signed onto a coalition letter with more than 20 civil liberties and privacy advocates, and companies, urging Congress to delay implementation of Rule 41. The coalition noted that “government hacking . . . can be much more privacy invasive than traditional searches” and suggested swift passage of Sen. Coons’s bill.

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CDT's Priorities for the New Administration

At the Center for Democracy & Technology, we believe that there are core beliefs that unite every American. Our policy recommendations for the nation’s 45th president are moderate, pragmatic proposals aimed at charting a forward-looking course that protects our individual rights, keeps the country secure, and enables further innovation in our hyper-connected reality.

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Additional Comments on DMCA Section 1201 Reform

CDT has submitted additional comments on the the Copyright Office policy study focused on Section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), which prohibits the circumvention of technological protection measures (TPMs). CDT commented in the initial phase of this study, and these comments address the Office’s response to the proposals received to update the statute.

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CDT Comments on Special Rapporteur David Kaye's Report Regarding Freedom of Expression and the Telecommunications and Internet Access Sector

CDT provided input for the report that the Special Rapporteur on the protection and promotion of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, David Kaye, is preparing on the role of telecommunications and internet access providers in freedom of expression. We provided a CDT work product that pertained to three areas of inquiry of this study: (1) the…

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Civil Society Letter On Yahoo Surveillance Revelations

Thirty-three civil society groups released a letter today calling on the Director of National Intelligence to honor his pledge to transparency and disclose more information about reports that Yahoo!, acting under an order from the FISA Court, scanned the email of hundreds of millions of its users to find a “signature” associated with a foreign terrorist organization. The groups said that the reported scanning may be unlawful and unconstitutional. They also said that the USA FREEDOM Act requires the government to declassify and release the FISA Court opinion and order that compelled Yahoo! to conduct the scan.

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Responding to the DOJ’s FAQ on the Use of NSLs to Compel Communications Providers to Produce ECTRs

The Department of Justice is circulating a “frequently asked questions” document on its proposal to expand the use of “national security letters” (NSLs), which are issued without prior court review, to cover requests for “electronic communication transactional records,” or “ECTRs.” The DOJ’s ECTR proposal could permit the FBI, at its sole discretion, to compel communications providers to turn over, among other things, email header information, text logs, and web browsing history in national security investigations. The DOJ’s FAQ contains a number of misstatements, to which we respond below.

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Comments to DHS on Proposal to Ask Visa Waiver Applicants for Social Media Identifiers

The Department of Homeland Security proposes to request disclosure of social media identifiers and other online account information from Visa Waiver Program applicants. CDT is deeply concerned that this proposal would invade the privacy and chill the freedom of expression of visitors to the United States and United States citizens.

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